New Delhi: Taking pot shots at the Congress Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said the grand old party and corruption are made for each other.
“We have been seeing a fight against corruption, but it is for the first time that we are seeing a fight for corruption. When we say ‘Congress free Bharat’ we actually mean ‘Corruption free Bharat’. Unfortunately, Congress and corruption are made for each other. And this has been proved once again,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told a press conference here.
“Today, we realized that the grand old party, which was expert in carrying out corruption during their rule, has become experts in carrying out corruption as an opposition as well. They have remained as the king of corruption and bad governance,” he added.
He asserted that today, in the hearing of the high profile case, it seemed like there were not accused but some freedom fighters.
Earlier, the Patiala House court granted unconditional bail to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each in the National Herald case.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took surety for Rahul Gandhi and AK Antony took surety for Sonia Gandhi. Ajay Maken took surety for Suman Dubey, BK Hariprasad for Motilal Vora, and Ghulam Nabi Azad took surety for Oscar Fernandes.
The court will next hear the case on February 20.
Subramanian Swamy also demanded bailable warrant against Sam Pitroda for non appearance and also opposed bail for the Gandhis.
The Gandhis along with the other accused in the National Herald case appeared before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in response to summons issued against them. They have been summoned by the trial court on prima facie charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust and dishonest misappropriation of property under relevant sections of the law.
Congress MLA V.S. Rathore however represented Sam Pitroda in the court today. Pitroda is unwell and undergoing treatment in the United States.
The National Herald newspaper was closely associated with India’s freedom struggle and the Indian National Congress till 2008. In January 2008, discussions about its closure began. On 1 April 2008, the paper’s editorial announced that it was temporarily suspending operations. Before its closure, the paper was being run by Associated Journals Limited (AJL).
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed the case in a local court in 2012. The trial court then issued summons to the two leaders among others in June 2014, but they approached the Delhi High Court seeking a stay. On Monday this week, the high court refused to stay the summons, and asked all of the accused to appear for a hearing on December 19.
The accused face allegations that they illegally acquired property worth Rs. 5,000 crore belonging to the National Herald newspaper. (ANI)